Is Pokemon Go the future of learning?

by L&D09 Aug 2016
A recent poll by Forbes has found that one-third of employees surveyed spent more than an hour playing Pokemon Go at work.

For employers, the most important question is this: Is Pokemon Go a bad thing?

More results from the survey found that about half of the respondents said they’ve bonded with colleagues, bosses or clients over the app.

And because the app uses augmented reality, employees have been benefitting from more exercise which is linked to an increase in productivity and morale.

Augmented reality technology is the same method that is being adapted by companies to train employees without real accidents or risks to health and safety.

Further, it allows employees to compete with each other in a virtual environment, and get instant feedback and rewards.

In particular, it’s the use of augmented reality combined with the gamification elements that makes the concepts in Pokemon Go such an attractive possibility for employers.

A recent survey by Kallidus found that 91% of L&D professionals in the UK are already planning to use virtual reality (VR) for learning in their organisation, with more than a third planning to roll out VR over the following three years.

Indeed, Axel Pannes, managing director of BMW Group Asia, recently told L&D Professional that in order to train dealers on the latest in electric and plug-in hybrid technology they are using 3D interactive training.

BMW is already using 3D glasses to train its dealers in plug-in hybrid technology and provide them the opportunity to experience the hidden core of the new hybrid models in a way that feels up close and personal,” said Pannes.

Moreover, Kelly Moore, national L&D manager at Inland Revenue in New Zealand, recently told L&D Professional that using the concepts from the gaming world is a compelling way to design learning and to bring learning out of the formal and into all aspects of work.

“It is about generating a sense of achievement and competition that helps keep people interested and striving to do more,” she said.

“One of the concepts that I really like is that you start off at a basic level and as you master new skills your work becomes more complex, allowing you to implement your new skills.

“This is straight from gaming and is the basis for making our learning real on the job.”

This praise of using game concepts for learning has been echoed by new research from RMIT University which found that teenagers who regularly play online video games tend to improve their school results.

The research found that students who play online games almost every day score 15 points above the average in maths and 17 points above the average in science.

"When you play online games you're solving puzzles to move to the next level and that involves using some of the general knowledge and skills in maths, reading and science that you've been taught during the day," said Associate Professor Alberto Posso, from RMIT's School of Economics, Finance and Marketing.

"Teachers should consider incorporating popular video games into teaching -- so long as they're not violent ones."

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